Baines Masonry Blocks has introduced a new tool that allows designers and specifiers to choose the correct walling solution for specific project requirements. Baines Masonry’s online fire and acoustic calculator is a simple tool that takes the guesswork out of specification and assures users that they are fully compliant with industry requirements, thereby, significantly reducing their exposure to liability.

Noise has a major impact on our health and wellbeing. Continuous exposure to noise can interfere with sleep, rest and conversation, causing fatigue, irritability, headaches and stress. Thoughtful design combined with the selection of materials with high acoustic performance is critical, especially in multi-residential projects as it can reduce the impact of noise and improve the quality of life for occupants.

While the intensity of sound is measured in decibels, our perception of ‘noise’ is influenced by subjective factors such as the type of noise, mood, the time of day and background noise levels among many more. Sudden noises can be even more disturbing than steady or expected noises, and the frequency of noise may also have different impacts.

Good design, therefore, has an important role to play in ensuring quality of life for the future occupants of a building. There are two main types of noise to be considered when designing a new building: airborne noise, such as a loud radio from a neighbour, and structure-borne noise, such as heavy footsteps on floorboards. Site planning, building layout, design and construction – all of these factors must be considered in line with relevant building standards and regulatory requirements.

Baines Masonry’s new calculator supports the development of good design. To use the tool, enter a few simple design parameters such as the required wall type, installation environment, acoustic and fire insulation requirements, and the relevant National Construction Code (NCC) requirement. The calculator instantly provides a tailored shortlist of Baines Masonry blocks that meet the specified parameters. The shortlist is also provided in printable PDF format, allowing you to retain a hard copy for reference or insertion into tender documents.